Cooking with Jason

Friday, November 11, 2005

Odds and Ends

I finished Cuisines of Asia today, which was the most demanding (and most rewarding) class I've had so far. Three days each of China and India, and two days each of Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and Korea make up the 14-day block. The kitchen, K-1, is different from most other kitchens in that is has two wok stations with space for a total of five woks, as well as such other unusual equipment as a Chinese roasting oven, Tandoori oven (India), and a large steamer used primarily for rice. There's also the standard equipment, like a grill, deep fryer, ovens, and so on.

With Asia out of the way, I'm now in the home stretch before Extern. Next block is a split block, much the same way Meat and Fish classes shared a 14-day block; I start seven days of Breakfast Cookery on Monday, followed by seven days of Lunch Cookery. For day one of Breakfast on Monday, we're required to arrive in the kitchen at 1:30am. That's right, 1:30 am. We open for service at 6am, and as it'll be our first time in a new kitchen, we'll need extra time to get the tour and hear Chef Johnson's expectations for the class, etc. Subsequent days will have more reasonable start times, which in this case means 3:00 or 3:30 in the morning. But hey, at least I'll be out of class around 10.

In other news, Thomas Keller -- yes, THE Thomas Keller of French Laundry fame -- was on campus today as this block's graduation speaker. Unfortunately, the only chance to see him was at a book signing this morning while I was in class, so I missed out. Since I arrived here in May, I've never heard campus so abuzz over a graduation speaker; most of the time people would be hard-pressed to name the speaker, but people have been talking about Keller for weeks.

What this made me realize, though, is that I don't want to have a boring, run-of-the-mill speaker when my gradutions roll around in January 2007 and August 2008. Why settle for the regional manager of Red Lobster when you can have Thomas Keller or Eric Ripert with a little effort? A few of us decided today that when we get back from Extern in May, we need to get involved with this effort in order to ensure a memorable speaker. Names tossed about today included Ripert, Alton Brown, Anthony Bourdain, and Michael Ruhlman. Names suggested jokingly included reality TV stars Rocco DiSpirito and Gordon Ramsay.

2 Comments:

  • Wow 1:30!! I remember you telling us about that when we were there, hopefully you wont ever have to be there before that! Good luck with the home stretch!

    By Anonymous Jessica, at 10:49 AM  

  • Let's say you're supposed to be lining up a graduation speaker, but instead you're sniffing bleach in dry storage...

    Less chemical, more Emeril!!

    By Blogger JohnK, at 12:11 PM  

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